Case Studies

Roth Consulting Group Inc.

A collaborative approach to food service facility design

For the past 12 years serving the state of New York, Roth Consulting Group (RCG) has developed a strong sense of what it takes to design a successful food service operation. Headquartered in Lockport, New York, Roth Consulting Group serves a wide array of clients, including school districts, hospitals, colleges and universities, correctional facilities and others. RCG prides itself in working closely with clients and subcontractors to see each project through from conception to completion by providing design services that include professional scaled drawings, specification booklets, equipment cut sheets and costing to submit for bidding purposes.

Founded in 2004 by Linda S. Roth, RCG has remained a relatively small firm while maintaining the mantra that no job is too big or too small. The company has been involved in designing facilities at Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the Buffalo Bills, as well as projects for Rich Products, a company that produces nondairy products such as creamer, cookie dough and cake frosting. RCG completed two kitchens for the company that are used for educational and presentation purposes.

Another notable client in the RCG portfolio is Unity Hospital in Rochester, New York. The company not only completed food service facilities for the hospital, but also for the assisted living center adjoined to the health care facility. In total, the project consisted of five kitchens. “We’re a small company, but we do numerous large projects,” says Roth.

Through its involvement in large-scale projects, RCG often takes a collaborative approach to design by partnering with outside firms. On the Ralph Wilson Stadium job, RCG teamed up with S2O Consultants, a food service design company based in Chicago.

Gaining traction in the industry

Due to its strong reputation of providing a high-quality product at the right price, RCG has been able to retain solid client retention and performs numerous repeat business jobs every year. Over an eight-year period, RCG has completed more than 50 food service facilities for Buffalo Public Schools. “We’re able to spread our work out,” says Roth. “The company has been as large as five employees and as small as one employee.” In the correctional facilities market, RCG has done work in eight prisons for the New York State Office of General Services.

Roth recalls a project that RCG did with the University of Buffalo as one of the more memorable jobs the company has done. The project consisted of the construction of the Crossroads Culinary Center. “It was a very unique way of looking at food service operations,” says Roth. “It was also a LEED Project.” While LEED has not been a major factor for RCG in the past, the new LEED v4 contains a food service component that allows RCG to pull more weight with the United States Green Building Council.

The attention to detail that RCG gives to each project is an aspect that Roth feels sets RCG apart from the competition. This aspect has helped the company to survive the recession, as the food service facility industry took a major hit after the market crash in 2008. “We’re just now starting to see a rebound in the market,” Roth explains. “Projects like Ralph Wilson Stadium really helped us through those tough times.” Since 2008, RCG has seen a surge in university and health care work.

Design for success

With a degree in architecture, Roth began her career as a draftsperson in the late ‘80s. Feeling the effects of the recession that occurred during that time, Roth was laid off from her position. “I went to a head hunter and he mentioned that there was a food service equipment dealer looking for someone to draw floor plans,” recalls Roth. “I’ve been working in the food service market ever since.”

Roth has worked in many facets of the food service market, working her way up through different positions that have included sales, installation and design. After working a number of years for a design consultant based in Toronto, Roth decided to go out on her own in 2004. “I never anticipated this aspect of design but it has been great,” she says. “The food service market is very detail oriented. We design the facility based on the menu. Once we know what the client is serving, we then help them select the equipment and then do the design layout to make it as functional and as efficient as possible.”

Upcoming work for RCG includes projects with the State University of New York system and a local art center. “It’s exciting to be thinking about ways to incorporate food service into the art centers,” says Roth. “We also hope to have another big project like Ralph Wilson Stadium come our way soon.”

With the rebound in the market that Roth is witnessing, Roth Consulting Group Inc. will experience significant growth over the next few years as the company continues to deliver high-quality, efficient food service facilities.

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